Hawks rise late, Young scores 39 points in win over Bulls | NBA

By CHARLES ODUM – AP Sportswriter

ATLANTA (AP) — The sense of urgency may be similar, but the stakes are different for Chicago and Atlanta at opposite ends of the Eastern Conference playoff standings.

For the Hawks, who are fighting for every place in the playoffs, a win over the big-league Bulls was especially important.

Bogdan Bogdanovic’s 3-pointer with 1:41 left, Atlanta gave the lead and Trae Young scored 39 points in the Hawks’ 130-124 win over the Bulls on Thursday night.

The Hawks started the night 10th in the conference, struggling to retain last place in the play-in tournament while still hoping to go higher in the final 20 games of the regular season.

“Yeah, we’re under pressure to go ahead and figure that out ASAP and get a few wins,” Young said. “We don’t have many left in the regular season. We have to win as many as possible. … Of course it’s great to beat a team like them when they’re seeded so high.”

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Young made seven 3-pointers, including two after Bogdanovic’s starting shot 3 to seal the win.

Chicago suffered its third consecutive loss and fell percentage points behind Philadelphia in the battle for second place in the East, each 2 1/2 games behind Miami.

“We need to have much, much better habits against elite teams,” said Chicago coach Billy Donovan. “I think we sort of learn all these little lessons the hard way. … There were simply many, many glitches. We fouled way too much.”

Hawks coach Nate McMillan said he urged his players before the game to stop the Bulls’ bid to complete a four-game sweep of the season series.

“I thought our guys reacted urgently in the third and fourth quarters,” McMillan said.

After Bogdanovic’s 3 made it 119-118, Chicago’s DeMar DeRozan’s had a turnover, and Young filled the advantage with two 3s in the final at 1:12.

Young had 13 assists and made 7 of 10 3s and all 10 of his free throws. Bogdanovic had 20 points.

DeRozan and Zach LaVine each had 22 points for the Bulls. Nikola Vucevic had 21 points and 11 rebounds.

LaVine blocked Young’s last jumper in the first half, leaving the Bulls with a 63-56 halftime lead.

When LaVine opened the second half with a 3-pointer for a 66-56 lead, the Bulls were 10 of 19 and on pace to hit their season-high 18 3s. They only made four 3s for the rest of the game, finishing 14 of 26.

The Hawks rose as they began to outperform the Bulls under the basket. DeAndre Hunter, who had 18 points, grabbed a rebound from his own miss and scored for a 72-70 lead in Atlanta.

Bulls: Vucevic had been 0 for 10 with 3 points in his last three games before making his first long-range attempt of the game in the second period. … Donovan said he expects LaVine to be available for the second straight game against Milwaukee on Friday night. LaVine was slowed by periodic pain in his surgically repaired left knee. Donovan said ahead of the game LaVine “feels really good,” before adding, “That was today. … No question, after tonight, ask him tomorrow. I would say he’s more likely to play.”

Hawks: F John Collins (right foot strain) missed his sixth straight game and may be nearing a return. “He’s getting better and better,” McMillan said. … C Onyeka Okongwu (concussion log) did not play. … Gorgui Dieng moved into a more prominent role behind C Clint Capela and F Danilo Gallinari. … Young (sprained left ankle) and G Lou Williams (discomfort in left hip) were cleared after warming up before the game.

The Hawks made 24 of 28 free throws. The Bulls made six out of seven. Donovan said he couldn’t complain.

“Generally, when you see a discrepancy like that, coaches complain,” Donovan said. “We fouled. We fouled.”

The Hawks were motivated by their 112-108 loss in Chicago on February 24, when Young made 3 of 17 shots from the field and scored just 14 points.

“I owed them one,” Young said.

This time, Young made 11 of 18 shots.

Bulls: host Milwaukee on Friday night

Hawks: In Washington on Friday night.

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Updated: March 4, 2022 — 4:05 am

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